Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Naby Keita is set to return to the first team, but will not be back in time to face Aston Villa on Friday night.
The boss also posted an update on Diogo Jota, who is still “a few weeks away” from his homecoming.
Keita’s time at Merseyside has been ravaged by injury and various issues have limited him to just two league starts since October. He played 90 minutes of the 7-0 mayhem at Crystal Palace and was due to play West Brom a week later, but a minor injury he suffered earlier in the season recurred and he was replaced by Curtis Jones on the sheet. team.
Recovery from his most recent issue is going well, but Klopp has confirmed he will miss the trip to Villa on Friday as Liverpool look to secure a spot for the FA Cup fourth round.
When asked if Keita could return soon, Klopp told the Liverpool website: “Yes, soon, but not for the Villa game.”
As for Jota, the Portuguese striker exploded in life after arriving from Wolves in October and scored nine goals in his first 17 appearances, before taking a knee strike at the end of the 1-1 draw with the FC Midtjylland.
The precocious prognosis suggested he would be sidelined until the end of February at the earliest, but Klopp declined to be drawn on a date, saying only he was “a few weeks away” from a back to training.
“It will take some more time, he is still wearing a corset, which means he is still a few weeks away from team training,” he said.
“There is really nothing to say, it takes time. There was no need for surgery, which was good, but it was a real injury.
“It’s not a little trick or something, it will take some time yet. There is no real timeline here. “